Welcome to the

Foundations and Approach course!

“The Divine Mother’s magic is ancient as life itself. She existed before gods and mortals and She will exist even after the great dissolution. Mother is pure energy in subtle form, but in times of need or just out of a desire to play, She manifests.”

~ Elizabeth Usha Harding

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A required course for the Certificate in Hindu Studies and Diploma in Applied Theology programs.

In this 8 week course we will explore foundational aspects of Hinduism.

Our approach to the subjects of this course is traditional, yet informed by contemporary scholarship and responsive to modern challenges. At Ramakrishna Seminary our focus is on the practical applications of religious thought and philosophy to the active spiritual lives of our students. Emphasis is given to personal spiritual development, cultural authenticity and service of God in the world.

This course consists of 8 modules, one module per week.  Materials for this course will be a combination of original content (such as live webinars, recordings, and writings from the instructor) and curated content (such as PDFs of articles, essays and selections from books and journals, readings from textbooks, and links to online videos and articles). 

By participating in any program or course given by Ramakrishna Seminary, students consent to our Terms and Conditions Agreement.

 

Due to the generosity of our supporters, this course (normally $500) is being offered tuition free to our founding students, as we begin this auspicious service. While the course is offered free of charge, please consider making a donation to support the seminary if you are able.

 


 

Your Instructor

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Rev. Dr. Swami Bhajanananda Saraswati

 

A Hindu monk, priest, author, and educator with more than twenty-six years of experience in presenting the teachings and practices of Sanatana Dharma, Indian philosophy, Tantric rituals, and the devotional schools.

Textbooks

Most study material for this course will be provided by the instructor as part of the modules, but students are requested to acquire Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar, which is available from online booksellers. The Course Reader will be available directly from the Seminary. 

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Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar

Elizabeth U. Harding, Nicolas-Hays, York Beach 1993

The story of Kali Mandir is intimately connected with the publication this book. Our foundational understanding of the Divine Mother Kali is rooted in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and the devotional and ritual tradition of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple discussed in the book.

 

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Course Reader

for Foundations and Approach

Compiled by Swami Bhajanananda Sararswati for Ramakrishna Seminary, 2020

Spiral-bound collection of articles, selections from books and journals, graphics, and other supportive material for this course.

 

Evaluation of Student Performance

 

 

This course is worth 8 Seminary Credits, and can be taken for either Credit or No Credit.

No Credit Option

Students not taking the course to earn Seminary Credits are not required to turn in written assignments or a final paper, but are expected to participate in online lectures and discussions and keep up with assigned readings and other materials.

Credit Option

 

Attendance and Class Participation

Students, who are taking this course for Seminary credit, are expected to attend weekly online lectures and discussions. If students must miss a live lecture, they are expected to watch the recording of the session and to participate in the discussion forum.

 

Class Assignments

Each module includes assigned reading and/or engagement with other curated material such as articles, videos, audio files, PDFs, etc. These assignments and their supporting material will be available on these Course Support Pages. Short writing assignments that may be assigned should be emailed to the instructor as Word files.

Final paper

At approximately the halfway point of the course several topics will be suggested for students to choose from for their writing project. The final paper should be six to twelve pages in length and be handed in or emailed to the instructor as a Word file within a week after the final day of the course.

Attendance and class participation     40%

Class assignments                                    40%

Final paper                                                  20%

90% - 100%     A (Credit)

80% -89%        B (Credit)

70% - 69%       C (Credit)

Under 70%      No Credit

Accessing Course Modules

Click on the module links below to access recordings of class-lectures, online meetings, supportive materials, and assignments.

 

(Access restricted to registered students)

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MODULE 1

BEGINNINGS

Founding and History of Kali Mandir

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MODULE 2

THE STAGE

The Dakshineswar Kali Temple

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MODULE 3

OUR HOLY TRIO ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda 

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MODULE 4

DIVINE MOTHER

Bhakti & the Mother-Child Relationship

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MODULE 5

TRADITIONS AND STANDARDS

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MODULE 6

LINEAGES AND INFLUENCES

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MODULE 7

RITUAL

and the Language of Devotion

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MODULE 8

TRADITION BEYOND CULT

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